While Joker may have come out to be one of the most celebrated films of last year, there are a lot of critics who are not too keen on Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime. The movie’s latest hater? Fight Club and Mindhunter director David Fincher.
Talking to The Telegraph, Fincher goes on about how Joker is actually a betrayal of mental illness. He says:
“Nobody would have thought they had a shot at a giant hit with ‘Joker’ had ‘The Dark Knight’ not been as massive as it was. I don’t think anyone would have looked at that material and thought, Yeah, let’s take Travis Bickle and Rupert Pupkin and conflate them, then trap him in a betrayal of the mentally ill, and trot it out for a billion dollars.”
For context, Travis Bickle and Rupert Pupkin are characters that Robert DeNiro played in Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy—both Martin Scorsese films. When Joker first came out, a lot of people were talking about how apparent the influence of those films were, and having DeNiro actually appear in the film was anything less than subtle.
Going back to what Fincher said though, it doesn’t really go in-depth into his accusations of the film, and some are reading it as some kind of jealous jab. Fincher had been complaining about how studios refuse to do movies that aren’t big blockbusters anymore, and it seems that Joker was that one comic book movie that kind of proved his point.
Though Fincher doesn’t look to be doing any comic book films soon, you can catch his latest picture, Mank, coming to Netflix on Dec. 4.